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LENEXA, KAN. (OCT. 13, 2022) – Auto dealership and repair shop Midwest Motors of Eureka, Missouri, will pay a $15,000 civil penalty for allegedly tampering with car engines to render emissions controls inoperative in violation of the federal Clean Air Act.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Kociela Enterprises Inc., doing business as Midwest Motors, sold or installed so-called “defeat devices” on at least 21 occasions.

“Illegally tampering with auto emissions controls creates harmful air pollution and is a violation of federal law,” said David Cozad, director of the EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “EPA will hold accountable individuals and companies who manufacture, sell, and install defeat devices.”

In addition to paying the civil penalty, Midwest Motors certified that it would not sell or install defeat devices in the future.

Tampering of car engines, including installation of aftermarket defeat devices intended to bypass manufacturer emissions controls, results in significantly higher releases of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, both of which contribute to serious public health problems in the United States. These problems include premature mortality, aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, aggravation of existing asthma, acute respiratory symptoms, chronic bronchitis, and decreased lung function. Numerous studies also link diesel exhaust to increased incidence of lung cancer.

Stopping aftermarket defeat devices for vehicles and engines is a top priority for EPA. The Agency identified this goal as one of seven National Compliance Initiatives in 2019. Learn more on EPA’s website.

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